Back to school, this year means so much more to those Mamas whose children will be returning to the classroom for the first time since March 2020. Self-care ideas have been on the back burner for far too long. Yes, of course, they enjoyed the extra time with their children. Every. Single. Moment. With. Their. Children. Morning. Noon. And, Night. Virtual school. Home school. Playtime. Breakfast time. Lunchtime. Dinner time. Study time. Fun time. Bedtime. And, for many, all of the togetherness was balanced while working full-time from home.
For the Mamas who still went to work without taking any break or being able to work from home – the doctors, the nurses, and the essential workers like grocery store workers and warehouse workers, back to school, this year means a little less juggling. These Mamas know their children will be safe at school with supervision during the day.
They will not have to juggle finding new childcare alternatives. Most children across the country will be able to learn in person at a traditional school. And, even the stay-at-home Mamas are looking forward to sending their kiddos back to school. Not everyone wants to homeschool. (Get ready teachers, the students are coming!).
So, as the children gear up for their return to in-person classes, Mamas need to take a beat and focus on the importance of self-care. You cannot take care of others unless you take care of yourself first. Just like on an airplane, when they instruct you to put on your oxygen mask before helping others. It is time to put Mama first. Well, at least put a few of Mama’s activities and needs on the calendar now so as the schedule fills up, Mama’s needs are taken care of first.
Selfcare is not selfish. You should not feel guilty to take time for yourself. In fact, you should make time for yourself so you can rejuvenate. When you feel good about yourself, it is easier to be a better Mom, spouse, friend, and employee.
Take Care of Yourself with Self-Care Ideas
Book a hair appointment, massage, pedicure, manicure, and/or facial. There are some of you that have not had a professional haircut since before March 2020. It’s time. It feels great to take time just for you. If pampering yourself has not been a part of your routine, it is not too late to start. Book yourself one pampering appointment a month and then repeat the cycle. Or, just repeat your favorites.
If you are not already in an exercise routine, start simple. Start where you are. A 15-minute daily walk outside to soak in some sunshine will do you wonders. Work up to a 30-minute daily walk. Benefits of a 30-minute daily walk include increased cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength, reduced risk of heart disease and body fat, and more. If you already like to exercise, join your favorite gym or register for a class so your exercise time becomes a priority.
Taking care of yourself includes eating healthy, which means healthy protein, fruits, and vegetables. You can visit a nutritionist or MyPlate.gov on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website for tips on healthy eating. You also can visit Pinterest and start meal prepping your favorite healthy recipes.
Make Medical Appointments
Have you had your annual physical? Breast exam? Dentist appointment? Eye exam? How many Mamas have made sure their children, and even their spouses, make it to annual routine checkups but do not make time for their own appointments? Stop what you are doing and schedule your appointments today.
Hire a House Cleaner
For many, this is not talked about because their parents did not have a house cleaner. But, ask around your circle of friends, you will discover several have had a house cleaner for years and just did not tell you. Especially, those Mamas in a two-income family. Talk about self-care ideas. On your days off, you no longer have to strip the beds and wash the sheets and clean the toilets. You get to enjoy your time with your family.
Do More of What Makes You Happy Self-Care Ideas
Self-care ideas look different for everyone. Selfcare might take place 15 to 30 minutes early in the morning before anyone else is awake in the house. It might be scheduled every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 p.m. Or, it might be every third Saturday of the month. Whenever it works for you, simply make self-care work. It is important to make self-care a commitment because you are worth it. You need to put self-care ideas on the calendar in a black permanent marker. You matter. Your health matters. Your well-being matters.
Here are a few fun suggestions for ways to give yourself some much-needed self-care ideas as the kids go back to school:
The key to reading is not making it an after-thought. When you pick up a book (either paperback or digital) only once every couple of months when you have a moment, it is not self-care. You have to set time for yourself each day. Make it a habit. Find a good book. Escape into a romance, mystery, or science-fiction thriller. Or, choose a topic you want to learn more about: it could be a new hobby, it could be self-improvement, or could be non-fiction. The book could even be about self-care ideas!
Journaling comes in many styles. You can journal in diary form recording the day-to-day happenings in your life. You can journal with words, drawings, and doodles. You can purchase a guided journal toward your faith or self-improvement. You can keep a gratitude journal and start each day writing down five things for which you are grateful. Or, you can keep a writing journal, where you write short stories and poems and free-flow ideas.
You can go back to school. You can pursue a degree or just take a few college classes in subjects you want to learn more about. If you already are not taking classes in your community, you might be surprised that a quick Internet search turns up dance classes, cooking classes, painting classes, yoga classes, and more within a short drive.
Start a new hobby. Volunteering to coach soccer or in the classroom is not the self-care hobby we are looking to start. What is something you always wanted to try? Self-care ideas that can be hobbies: quilting, crocheting, refurbishing furniture with chalk-paint, playing the guitar, the list goes on and on. It is so easy to learn a new hobby now because so many people have posted how-to videos on nearly every hobby out there.
You can plant an herb garden inside or plant lush flower gardens in your backyard. There is something so rewarding about nurturing flowers, herbs, and vegetables throughout their growing seasons.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
Create a playlist of songs to get you pumped and dancing or meditate and relaxing, whichever works for you. Focus on the music. Be present. Listen to the words. Get lost in the rhythm.
WATCH OR PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS
Cheer for your favorite team or participate in a team sport. Yes, most park districts have recreational teams for adults not just children. Teams range from soccer and softball to dodgeball and pickleball. Have fun. Get the adrenaline pumping as you search through your favorite self-care ideas.
Self-Care Ideas Can Include Others, too!
All self-care ideas do not have to be solo activities, they can be with your spouse, friends, or family. It is easy for Mamas to get caught in the busy lives of their children chauffering from school to sports to activities. Sometimes volunteering at the school or as a coach or Scout leader takes away any free time you would have had. It is important to stay connected. And, oftentimes that means you need to put it on the family calendar so that it actually happens.
Night Out with Friends or Spouse or Family
Planning a weekly or monthly outing with your spouse, friends, or extended family is a must-do. It is so easy to get caught up in your children’s schedules. Date night is a priority. Maintaining friendships is a must. And, getting together with extended family – be it your parents, your siblings, or cousins – should be enjoyed not seen as a chore. Sometimes a Sunday dinner is where it is at, but for other families meeting at a park is better.
A Trip Without Kids
Do not feel guilty about taking a weekend trip or a weeklong trip without the kiddos. It is important to feel like a grownup sometimes. You might find yourself shopping for the little rugrats who are not with you, but you will enjoy a hot meal where you only have to cut your own food up. You might even enjoy a concert, museum, or club as you go out for a night on the town. Future self-care ideas are often added to your list when enjoying a trip without the children.
A Family Trip
But then again, sometimes the best self-care ideas are those where the whole family gets together and enjoys a new destination like a condo on the beach, a cabin on a lake, or a week at a theme park.
Take a moment to brainstorm self-care ideas for yourself. You just might surprise yourself about what you really wish you were doing today. Take time to live, not just exist. Self-care helps you enjoy life, which helps you be better for the family you love.
WANT TO READ MORE?
For more travel ideas check out What to See on a Multigenerational Family Vacation and Arizona Road Trip.
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